The Long Bridge SwimCycle Hard for Education - CHaFE 150

Swim Day Frequently Asked Questions

Browse on below for the frequently asked questions that swimmers pose every year.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I be a safety kayaker for my child?

No, you can not safety kayak for your child. You are welcome to swim along with them, and there will be plenty of volunteer kayakers to assist if someone gets tired and needs a rest. If you do not wish to swim along with your child, you can most effectively stay connected with him or her by walking along the Pedestrian Long Bridge at the swimmer's pace. The swimmer and you will be able to easily see and talk to each other.

2. Can my child start the swim and get out if he or she gets too tired?

Absolutely! We think it's great that anyone wants to try the Long Bridge Swim, and if they get tired, one of the kayakers will be happy to take them to a power boater who will take them to shore to join in all of the food, music and festivities. For safety reasons we do recommend that children under the age of 12 swim with a responsible adult. So come on adults, if your kid wants to try it, why don't you try it with them?

3. What about temperatures? Should I wear a wetsuit?

The water temperature is usually between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Wet suits are encouraged as they both keep you warm, and make you more buoyant, which helps you swim faster! But wetsuits are certainly not required. Smaller children and adults, because they have less body mass get colder faster so they may especially appreciate a wet suit.

4. Where could I rent a wetsuit?

Try calling your local sports shop that caters to triathletes.

5. What if the weather is bad?

The Long Bridge Swim will go on in almost any weather conditions. The major exception is lightning. Early August should provide a relatively low chance of storms, but we can't control the weather. In the case of lightning, we may delay the start to see if the storm would pass and allow us to safely swim.

We understand that some, or many, people may choose to not swim if the weather is rough. We only ask that you let the Registration people know at Check-In that you have picked up your bag and that you will NOT be swimming. We absolutely need to know for safety reasons which swimmers go into the water, and which swimmers come out! We hope that you will enjoy your tee shirt and try again next year.

The swim will proceed in all but lightning and severe wind/cold. REFUNDS WILL NOT BE GIVEN IF CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER OR ANY OTHER REASON.

6. What about spectators?

The more the merrier! Spectators are encouraged to watch and cheer for their favorite swimmers, as they walk along the Pedestrian Long Bridge and Bike Path. Many individuals have gone from "spectator" one year to "swimmer" the next! So watch out, watching may be contagious!

7. If the mandatory safety meeting is at Sandpoint High School (where I will park my car), how do I get to the south end of the lake where the swim starts?

We have very friendly local school bus drivers who volunteer their time to shuttle us down to the south end for the start. Please remember to thank them, and the many other volunteers who make this whole event possible.

8. Where do I park my car?

Please park at the large parking lot at Sandpoint High School.

9. Where should spectators park?

We have permission for spectators to park in four places along Hwy 95 at the North end of the Long Bridge. Spectators are NOT allowed to park in the Long Bridge Grill Parking. We need to keep this area clear for the busses dropping off swimmers and for our swimmers who have special needs and have made prior arrangements with our safety coordinator.

On the South side of the highway

  • The large paved lot of the Riverside Building.
  • The grassy field right next to the Riverside Building. These will be marked with signs.

Across the highway on the North side

  • The Public Lot at the beginning of the Bike Path - but there are only about 10 spaces that will fill up quickly.
  • In the grassy field next to The McFarland House - the large home at the corner where the Hwy turns right to head into downtown Sandpoint. This field is where the large LBS Banner is posted a couple weeks in advance of the swim date. This will also be marked with signs.

Please Be Respectful, as 3 of these areas are on Private Property and permission could be denied in future years if the property owners were to feel that we are abusing their land and property!

We DO NOT have permission to park in the paved lot on either side of the Verizon and Loan Star Mortgage Building!!! This will also be posted.

If more parking is needed, I suggest that people park in the large lot next to the Bonner County Court House. Collectively, this should be plenty of parking for any and all of the people that would like to park so their car is closer to the Bike Path and the finish area of the LBS.

Please Note! Swimmers MUST ride the buses to the south end of the Long Bridge for the start of the LBS. It is spectators, only, that are encouraged to drive and park at the north end of the Long Bridge and walk across the bridge to follow along with their favorite swimmers, or to just watch the event.

10. What time should I arrive to check in?

Swimmers can check in from 6:30-7:30 on the day of the event. At 6:30, there is usually no line, by 7:15, the line gets considerably longer, so please plan accordingly. All swimmers must be: registered, checked in, body marked, have their uniquely numbered swim cap, and be ready for the mandatory safety meeting at 8 a.m. Our volunteers are swimmers too, so please be considerate and arrive early.

11. Can I check in early?

In order to make the morning of the Long Bridge Swim go smoother and not take so much time, we encourage all swimmers who are able to check in on Friday, August 2, 2024 at Sandpoint High School. Check-in at the high school will be from 5:30-7:00 PM. You will pick up your numbered swim cap, garbage bag, tee shirt, and timing chip. Late Registration of swimmers ($75) will also be available at this time. THERE IS NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION. Please note that late registrants are not guaranteed a t-shirt, and the $75 fee still applies even if you do not receive a t-shirt.

Please remember that you will still need to go to the Saturday morning check-in at Sandpoint High School to get your body marked, and for the MANDATORY pre-swim safety meeting for ALL swimmers at 8 a.m.

12. What time is the Mandatory Safety Meeting?

It is at 8:00 AM and is very important that ALL swimmers attend. We are a very large group of swimmers, and it is important that all swimmers are aware of our safety procedures, so everyone can have an fun and SAFE swim.

13. Should I be concerned about the "mass start" with so many swimmers in this event?

Yes and no. The start has the potential to be the most dangerous and uncomfortable time of this whole event. If you are not an extremely competitive, and very fast (think collegiate All American or Olympic Trial Qualifier) swimmer, then you DO NOT want to be at the front of the mass of swimmers! This cannot be emphasized enough. People at other events have had some very frightening and unpleasant experiences with being kicked, elbowed, and pulled underwater by other swimmers in the frantic first minute of the event. If you are not a superstar swimmer, please hold back and allow the other swimmers to spread out ahead of you until there is a nice and comfortable space around you to begin your long and enjoyable journey all of the way across Lake Pend Oreille. In a swim of this length (1.76 Miles), it really doesn't matter if you hang out on shore for the first 3-5 minutes after the gun goes off. We use a chip timing system, so if you start in the water, your time begins when the gun goes off. If you wait on the shore, your time will start once you cross the timing mat. Also, the further you hang back at the start, the more swimmers you have the potential to pass in the coming 1 to 2 hours of swimming, and that can feel like a great accomplishment.

New in 2023: In order to decrease congestion at the swim start, we will reserve the first 7-8 buses for swimmers who would like to start in the water. Water start swimmers will be issued a blue cap at packet pick up and our friendly Long Bridge Swim volunteers will be checking as you board the bus. The busses will be clearly marked with a sign designating them as "water start." The remaining buses will be for those who would like to wait on land until after the gun goes off and their time will start when they cross the timing mat.

14. If I start the swim on the south end of the bridge and finish at the north end of the bridge, where do I put my towel, shoes etc?

You will be given a white plastic bag with your number on it, in which you can put your shoes, towel, etc. Please keep items placed in the white numbered bag to a minimum. That bag will be picked up by volunteers before you enter the water at the south end of the bridge. These will be placed in a truck and driven to the finish area at Dog Beach at the north end of the bridge where it will be waiting for you. The bags are organized by number, and a friendly volunteer will check your swim cap and body marked number and fetch your bag for you.

15. Do I have to be a competitive swimmer to swim the Long Bridge Swim?

Absolutely not! This is a community event and we encourage everyone to enjoy this fun event. All kinds of people, from 7 to 89 years old have made it, and we believe that YOU can too! You do not need to be a super athlete or serious swimmer to finish the 1.76 miles. All you need is a strong sense of adventure and a willingness to "keep on splashing," with some breaks to float and rest on your back, while talking with your fans on the bridge. The fans will cheer you on, and the safety kayakers will also be there to encourage you.

16. Can I wear flippers or fins, a life jacket, mask or snorkel?

Masks, fins and snorkels are okay, but note that these are considered swim aids so your results will be shown in an aided-swimmer category. Life jackets (PFDs) and any other flotation devices (kickboards, noodles, etc.) are NOT allowed.

17. How can I tell how far I've been able to swim during the race?

There will be signs posted on the Pedestrian Long Bridge letting you know when you've gotten to the one quarter mile, one half, three quarters, and one complete mile. When you reach land, where the Pedestrian Bridge ends and the Bike Path and the 12 numbered pilings begin, you will know that you have completed the hardest part of the Swim and only have .62 miles left to go!

18. What if I have to go to the bathroom?

There are bathrooms located at the High School where registration occurs, at the south end of the Long Bridge near the start, and at Dog Beach where the swim finishes.

19. Is the food and drink at the finish on Dog Beach for everyone?

Unfortunately, we cannot feed all of the hundreds of family members and spectators. The food that we provide at Dog Beach is for swimmers and volunteers only.

20. Do I have to wear a swim cap?

For safety reasons, all swimmers must wear the uniquely numbered cap that they are given in their race packet. If you misplace your swim cap, or it comes off in the water, you will not be allowed to swim in this event. No Exceptions! This is for very important visibility and safety reasons.

21. Are there any campgrounds nearby?

The closest campground is Springy Point on Lakeshore Drive. It is located approximately three miles from the south end of the Long Bridge. Please remember that you will need to check in at Sandpoint High School and attend the mandatory safety meeting. For more information on campgrounds and to make reservations please go to or call (877) 444-6777.

22. Can you suggest a motel or hotel nearby?

Visit the Sandpoint Online Lodging Guide to make reservations online, or call the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce (Mon. thru Fri. 9 to 5, Sat. 10 to 3, Sun. 11 to 2) for a wide variety of lodging reservations at (800) 800-2106.

23. How can I support the event, now or in the future?

There are many ways that you could support our event. Please contact Jim Zuberbuhler , or at 208-263-2010, and he will assist you in assisting us.

24. Could I or my business become a Sponsor of this event?

Yes! We have several levels of sponsorship: under $100, over $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and above. Please contact Jim Zuberbuhler by or at 208-263-2010.

25. What does the tee shirt look like this year?

That is a surprise for everyone to discover when they pick up their shirts!

26. Can I buy extra shirts for this year or past years?

Yes, you can buy extra shirts for yourself or your friends and relatives. The colorful Long Bridge Swim shirts have been seen all over this country, and in a growing number of other countries around the world! For this year's shirts, please order with your registration or as soon as you possibly can so we can get enough shirts printed, or send $15 per shirt to Long Bridge Swim, PO Box 2321, Sandpoint, ID 83864. Indicate size and quantity of Youth: Small, Medium, or Large; and Adult's: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, XXL ($17), XXXL ($17)

Last year's shirt will be available for $10 (limited sizes) and previous years' shirts available for $5, on a first-come, first-served basis, at both the packet pick-up and at the finish at Dog Beach. We will also be selling Long Bridge towels for $30.

27. When and how do I find out my place and time for the swim?

We use a chip timing system and the results will be posted and updated throughout the morning of the swim. You may also go to and find the results listed there. Results will also be posted on our website,, within a week of the event.

28. What if I have lost something on the day of the swim?

We have a lost and found at the north end of dog beach next to the first aid tent on the day of the Swim. Or you can contact Karen McClelland at 208 610-9269 or at 208-263-2010, and we will try to assist you in retrieving your item.

29. Can I register to swim on the morning of the event?

Due to the increasing number of swimmers we have participating in our event, we can no longer accept race day registration. The last day you can register is Friday, August 2, 2024 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Sandpoint High School, 410 South Division Avenue in Sandpoint. We are not able to take registrations over the phone.

30. What about all of that construction for the by-way and by the railroad at Dog Beach?

Fortunately for us, we live in a very friendly small town and the Idaho Department of Transportation, Parsons (the by-way contractor) and railroad are very accommodating by allowing us to use their right-of-way, even with their big projects going on. Our space on Dog Beach is significantly smaller than usual, so swimmers and spectators will need to step around to the west and spread out along the Bike Path to enjoy the food and music of our festivities. We must stay completely out of the fenced-off construction area and away from the equipment.

31. How do I use the timing chips?

Timing chips are to be worn around your ankle. These are disposable, single-use timing chips. Dry fit the timing strap around your ankle. It should be snug but not tight. Once you are satisfied with the fit, peel the paper cover off the adhesive tab and press the tab FIRMLY AND COMPLETELY to secure the strap on your ankle. Please attach just once. DO NOT remove and reattach your timing chip as this will weaken the adhesive and may cause your timing chip to fall off during the swim. You may wear your timing chip under your wet suit.

If you still have unanswered questions please e-mail them to: .